Q&A with Fraser Bremford
WHO: Fraser Bremford
WHERE: Working Style, 292 Papanui Road, Merivale
p. 03 356 1964 www.workingstyle.co.nz
Why does style matter? Style allows you to make a statement. Professional or casual, it lets you project the right image for the environment you’re in.
How do you define great style? Great style is something you feel good and look great in. It comes from experimenting and finding clothing that suits your lifestyle. It’s human nature – we form opinions based on appearance – so style is about showing your personality.
How did the shift to Papanui Road come about? Since the earthquake I’ve been offering a door-to-door service in a Morris Minor van. [When it came to finding new premises] we wanted a stand-alone store – a destination – so parking was important.
Tell us about your new premises … This historic Heathcote Helmore-designed building reflects what we are about – heritage men’s clothing. It has synergy with what we’re doing. With the loss of heritage in Christchurch, we feel that we’re the custodians of the building; protecting it instead of ripping it down and replacing it with generic tilt-slab. We’re lucky, because our fixtures are suited to rooms of this proportion. Our store always felt like a gentlemen’s club, if not someone’s home, so it fits nicely. It was built in the 1940s so has a good sense of proportion. It has an interesting history too – at one time it was the Hungarian Consulate.
You inspire great loyalty from your customers – what’s your secret? Like any successful business, it’s about creating relationships of longevity. A lot of our customers are friends of ours. It’s about trust and professionalism – we have to do a good job because we need our customers to come back. We take our customers on a journey – find out their comfort zone and show them something different. I’ve been looking after some of my customers for 14 years. We treat our business like a club – it’s based on referrals and word of mouth.
What stylish must-have will you be purchasing this summer? We’re doing a lot of true navy and dove-grey suiting. I’m going for a combo of the two in a grey/blue check suit with brown and tan Spanish handmade shoes with a mauve shirt and tie.
What are your essential style tips for summer? We put people in colours that look spectacular on them. Only 30% of the population looks good in black, so we specialise in putting people in colour, not cookie-cutter black. This season, experiment with true navy and dove-grey suiting. Add brown shoes where possible. Try the combination of cotton blazers, desert boots and well-tailored cotton trousers.